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Fire service historian and author

Roger Mardon





Allocation of New Dimension enhanced command support vehicles changed

July 2008

New Dimension enhanced command support vehicles will be allocated to Hampshire instead of Buckinghamshire in the South East region and to Hereford and Worcester instead of Warwickshire in the West Midlands.


New Dimension maintenance contract awarded

July 2008

It was announced on 8 July 2008 that the maintenance contract for the New Dimension fleet has been awarded to Vosper Thornycroft Critical Services (VTCS). VTCS has been maintaining the 3,600 vehicles of the Metropolitan Police since 2006. The transfer of the New Dimension fleet from the Department for Communities & Local Government to individual fire & rescue authorities, originally scheduled for 1 April 2008, is expected to take place later this year.

London Fire Brigade Museum under threat

September 2008

The chairman of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, Brian Coleman, is reported to have said, "Once you've seen one brass helmet you have seen them all."  


He went on to say, "It would be my view that the fire brigade museum no longer serves a useful purpose for Londoners. We are a fire and rescue service; we are not a museums and archives service... ... ... I think probably a museum is a luxury we can no longer afford."


For a fuller report see the London SE1 Community Web Site

Alexander-Dennis not supplying chassis for West Midlands order

October 2008

Although Dennis Eagle could provide the cab shells, due to sourcing issues for other elements of the cab Alexander-Dennis are unable to accept an order received through FireBuy for 12 pumping appliance chassis for West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service.

New Heathrow fire station opened

August 2008

London Heathrow Airport opened its new fire station on 5 August 2008. It replaces a 30-year-old station which is to be demolished. The airport's second fire station near Terminal 5 remains in operation.

Reprieve for London Fire Brigade Museum

November 2008

A proposal that could have led to the closure of the London Fire Brigade Museum was defeated at the London Fire Fire & Emergency Planning Authority's budget meeting on Thursday 20 November.


It was reported that since the LFEPA's budget process had commenced and the possibility that the museum might close had become more widely known, approaches had been made by a number of parties expressing an interest in maintaining the museum, either on site or elsewhere. Officials had assumed the authority would wish to see these possibilities investigated further and suggested a further report no later than the March meeting. However a majority of the LFEPA members voted to remove the closure proposal from the budget consideration.

Firelink Update

November 2008

Firellink is the new communications system for fire and rescue services in Great Britain designed to provide


On 28 November the Department for Communities and Local Government issued a circular (FRS 63/2008) giving an update on the project.


Phase A (network build) is complete in the early regions in England and the remaining regions are expected to reach completion over the next few months. All existing control rooms are now connected to the Airwave network.


Phase B (operational fleet roll-out) began in the South West region on 24 November. Roll-out to subsequent regions will commence at roughly fortnightly intervals, starting with the North East and East Midlands on 1 December and West MIdlands on 12 January 2009.


Under Phase C (regional controls) installation for the communications interface has already started in the first centre scheduled to become operational in the South West.




First Regional Controls Nine Months Late

November 2008

On 26 November Fire Minister Sadiq Khan said that the completion of eight new highly resilient regional control centre buildings had been achieved along with the establishment of eight local authority controlled companies which will run them.


However the Government's £380m FiReControl project  is behind schedule and they are now  aiming for the first three regional control centres, in the North East, East Midlands and South West, to become operational  in summer 2010 - nine months later than previously expected. The full system is expected to be in place by spring 2012 - five months later than originally planned.

Transfer of New Dimension Assets

December 2008

It is now envisaged that the DCLG will transfer New Dimension equipment and vehicles to individual fire & rescue services by the end of March 2009.



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